Fifa to consider new concussion guidelines

Proposal allows for three-minute stoppage if a player suffers a suspected concussion

  Christoph Kramer of Germany challenges Ikechi Anya of Scotland during the EURO 2016 Group D qualifying match between Germany and Scotland at Signal Iduna Park on September 7, 2014 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Christoph Kramer of Germany challenges Ikechi Anya of Scotland during the EURO 2016 Group D qualifying match between Germany and Scotland at Signal Iduna Park on September 7, 2014 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)

 

A proposal allowing for a three-minute stoppage if a player suffers a suspected concussion will be discussed this week by Fifa’s Executive Committee.

The guidance comes from Fifa’s medical committee, following a meeting in Zurich on Monday, and will be presented at the Executive Committee’s meeting on Thursday and Friday. It follows several incidents during this summer’s World Cup of players attempting to play on after suffering head injuries.

A Fifa press release read: “The incidents at the World Cup have shown that the role of team doctors needs to be reinforced in order to ensure the correct management of potential cases of concussion in the heat of competition.

“Following recent discussion with team doctors and confederations, the Fifa Medical Committee agreed at a meeting held yesterday in Zurich to submit a proposal to the Fifa Executive Committee in order to improve the protocol.

“Under the proposal, whenever a suspected incident of concussion occurs, the referee will have the ability to stop the game for three minutes, allowing the relevant team doctor to complete an on-pitch assessment and decide if the player has suspected concussion.

“The referee will only allow the injured party to continue playing with the authorisation of the team doctor, who will have the final decision.”

Uefa will adopt similar new rules with immediate effect and Fifa’s chief medical officer Michel D’Hooghe expressed hope at the recent Soccerex convention in Manchester that the global governing body could implement the proposal as soon as October 1st.

Germany’s Christoph Kramer played on in the World Cup final with a head injury before being eventually being substituted, while Uruguay’s Alvaro Pereira and Argentina’s Javier Mascherano also returned to the field after being knocked out during matches.

In the Barclays Premier League, Tottenham sparked a parliamentary debate by allowing goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to play on against Everton last season after suffering a concussion.

Lloris later admitted he was wrong to do so and the league responded by tightening guidelines to allow club doctors to overrule players and coaches in such decisions, assisted by an independent doctor in the tunnel should the need arise.

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